In Tom Davenport’s terrific post, Microdecisions for Macro Impact, he reminds us that fortunes can be won and lost in the little decisions we make every day. As he astutely notes,
What many companies don’t realize is that microdecisions — small decisions made many times by many workers at the customer interface — can have a major impact on the business. How they are made can be the difference between sloppy and effective execution, and between profit and loss.
Equally, small decisions made in the course of routine procedures can have a profound effect. If you’re not sure about this, think about the huge beneficial change in health care derived from the simple act of hand washing. Or, imagine what would happen if your pilot decided to “wing it” and disregarded the standard take-off checklist?
In knowledge management, we regularly spend time thinking about work flow and business process. And, especially when we’re considering bringing technology into that flow, we have an opportunity to ask whether the individual steps within a process are sensible given current circumstances. Do they yield the best possible outcome on a predictable basis?
The fact that something is routine does not mean it is optimized. As you go through your day, take a closer look at the many repeatable acts you perform and consider whether there are small decisions you could make differently to yield much better results.
[Photo Credit: Wisconsin Historical Society]